The first struggle we came across in Australia was the electricity difference. We had come prepared, buying adapters to us; however, I did not read the instructions, and plugged it into the wall without connecting it properly, which caused my heating pad to break. I was not impressed. This is the one item I needed to keep me pain-free while travelling this year, and now it was broken. I thought about buying another one, but then it would be an Australian heating pad, which would cause more headaches when travelling with it to other countries, so as of now, I am trying to go without one.
In the morning, we had a lovely breakfast at the hotel, where we learned one of the first (and very important) differences between Canadian and Australian culture. They do not have creamer in Australia for our coffee!! They only use milk. This was more disappointing than we expected. We would now learn to drink coffee with soy milk or just sugar.
After breakfast we walked in the rain to get some groceries, and to go to the bank. Upon arriving at the bank (to exchange currency), we were told that we needed our passports in order to do this. We didn’t think we would need these, so we left them at the hotel. We had to walk back and forth in the rain in order to get them and exchange our funds into Australian Dollars.
Our home owners (Kali and Adam) came to pick us up around noon, and gave us a wonderful tour of Cairns. It is a fun, touristy, harbour town, with lots of shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, we will not be staying close by, and won’t be seeing too much of it. Kali and Adam are a lovely Aussie couple who are headed to Bali for 2 weeks, while we care for their dog Ebony.
Their home is one of the most beautiful homes we have ever seen! Typical Cairns style, with tropical landscapes and a lovely pool. There is also a wonderful outdoor dining area, where we have spent a lot of time so far, especially when it is raining.
The house is in the Edge Hill neighbourhood, up in a beautiful, tropical area of Cairns. The houses are all unique in their own right, and the landscaping on each property is unbelievable. We were both very surprised when we saw how tropical it is here. It looks more like Hawaii than what we expected! I think this is because in North America, we are shown so much of the “Outback” that we don’t realize how many different climates actually exists in Australia. Apparently, we are living in the tropics. An average day here is about 28 Degrees Celsius, but with the extreme humidity, it feels like 35. It is also Cyclone season here (or Hurricane season, or Monsoon season). We also didn’t know this. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the rain is the only saving grace from the heat here. There is a short video of our backyard on a typical rainy day here.
Kali and Adam were nice enough to offer us their car to drive while they are away, but we are too afraid to drive it! Not only do they drive on the left side of the road here, but the car is also a manual. I can drive a manual in Canada, but having to learn to do it with the opposite hand, opposite leg, and on the opposite side of the street sounds scary to me! This has left us a little far away from the action, but there are buses nearby if we want to venture out, which we did on Boxing Day. We will cover the holidays in the next post.